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Appraiser Spouses

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Em Tee

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
I know I've read several people in this forum mention that their spouses are also appraisers. Now I'm about to join those ranks - my fiance (an appraiser, of course!) and I are shopping for a house. Anyone have advice on how to live & work together in peace and harmony? :rofl: :rofl: Okay, how about just some practical advice so we don't end up killing each other?

:p

(Note after reading Ryan's post: we'll be working out of our home.)
 

wyecoyote

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Gvmt Agency, FNMA, HUD, VA etc.
State
Washington
If you are looking for a house and plan to run the office out of the residence my advise. Look for a house that has a Accessory Dwelling Unit, or a shop that is seperate from the main house so you feel like you are leaving work. I have a basement that is accessed from the exterior only and I am in the process of finishing this off. So I have to physically exit the house and enter the office. Instead of walking into a bedroom. As far as the other item of working together. Will let someone that has been there and down that answer.
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Ryan is right. You need a separate space that is "the office". I personally would think a detached building of some type would be best. But with toddlers, for now, I like having my office in the basement. They know Dad is accessible, although I am working. But I do have plans to move out as soon as it is practically possible.

I started off in a spare bedroom while I finished the basement. Once the basement was finished, I was much happier with my own work space, separate phone lines, and can "close the office" at the end of the day. I found the hardest part is learning when to say when. Working at home is a double edged sword. Nothing on TV, well...... I'll go down and work up a quickie for a few bucks. But then you find yourself doing that every night, and the family puts out an APB for Dad. I work hard and long, but when business is closed, we go play in the yard and I do NOT answer my office phone.

P.S., my basement is a daylight basement. I have windows and double french doors, so I won't go crazy. Worked in an office without windows for many years :silly: Thank GOD my job required me to go in and out.
 

Pat Butler

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
I made sure that my spouse was in good condition, had a low effective age along with rolling topography. :)
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Our home is a ranch style house of about 1,500 square feet on the main with an unfinished basement of approximately 600 square feet. My office is the den (could have been 3rd bedroom). French doors open to the entry way, there is a full bath adjacent, and I can go to the garage without tracking through the rest of the house.

Two separate phone lines and cable internet connection. It houses everything necessary to do appraisal work including a copy machine, laser fax, computer, and two printers. The closet serves as a supply room. My file cabinets are in the finished garage.

If my wife was to work with me I would use the guest bedroom as a second office. There is just the two of us. Actually I have a computer set up in there now with a wireless network as a backup system. Personally, we argue enough without working together. She has a job outside the house and I want to keep it that way.

It takes really special people to be able to be together all the time. My parents owned a real estate company for many many years. It was always a constant battle.
 

xm39hnu

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2003
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
My wife is the certified appraiser, and I'm the trainee. You think that it doesn't get her goat when we go out on an inspection together and the homeowner treats ME as the boss of the outfit? I quickly learned to dispel that chauvinistic notion straightaway.

Having your spouse for a business partner is fun, from my perspective. We discuss USPAP requirements, report requirements, where to go for continuing ed, which classes we need to take. Arguments? In the debate sense, yes! Fights, not in the domestic disturbance sense. If something is do-able either way, let it go unless there's a good reason to argue for your position. If it's a USPAP requirement, stick to your guns and do your best to persuade.

You'll find that it takes half the time to inspect a residence or business together. What one of you misses, the other one catches (usually). One of you can take on the talkative homeowner while the other inspects carefully. When appraisal issues arise, it helps to have another qualified person around to bounce ideas back and forth. One of you work up the cost approach and the other starts in on the market approach. Then swap and reivew each other's work.

Don't ever disparage your spouse in front of a homeowner or client (even joking), nor permit anyone else to do so. Sell each other's strengths, and bolster your spouse's weaknesses.

Client relations story: Had a bunch of easements to appraise for a small-town sewer project, and some of the homeowners were hostile to the project and/or the mayor. We were discussing how to deal with aggressive homeowners. I told the group that I could stand flat-footed and take a punch if it came to that... "Oh, you don't have to do that!" the mayor chimed in. "...but if one of them offers to hurt my wife," I continued, "I'll simply kill the sonofa****, and you can deal with his heirs." (Meant it, too.) The other side of the table looked kinda like a tree full of owls for a moment. Then the police chief spoke up. "Got my cell number? Call me first, and I'll help you get rid of the body." The mayor gasped. The cityfeller consultants were still owls. Me, the project engineer, and the chief chuckled. This <is> a small town in rural Tennessee; I'm still not sure whether he was serious, or just spoofing the Mayor.
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
1. If you do not already share a broad sense of humor,
develop one FAST, you are going to need it!

2. Tolerence is the next attribute you had better work on.

Please note the important order of these two it was NOT accidental.

3. Find some way to put work 'off limits' once in a while...
Kids can do that for ...errr make that to you
but if you are DINKS then make SURE you self police on this matter.

~~~
Ideal workplace ergonomics are going to depend to a high degree on individual workstyles...
and what you can afford :shocked:

I would advise some serious and honest assesment of workstyles, noise levels, neat levels and whether you really WANT to find one happy big office space or would be happier in seperate rooms.

Hubby and I are ying and yang on a lot of critical factors. Sometimes this works sometimes it is cause for near homicidal rage.

~
Keep in mind scuh things as these:
He likes noise, the more the better: TV, Radio AND 2 phones going makes him happy. If I am wrestling with a real problem I want the sound of silence. Perfect silence is really best....so the major noise level from various sources that gets his cognitive juices flowing is "not a good match"...
~
I am no Felix Unger, but he is unquestionably the file/piler of our odd couple...
(Typical desk view is a cutaway slot for keyboard, a valley to the monitor, and mousepad and the coffee cup has to share with the mouse :eek: ) in a seperate canyon. The overflow creeps into the aisles <_< unless I regularly hack it back, it is sort of like kudzu. climbing up and over stationary objects :rolleyes: .

Can both of you live in line of sight view of the others workhabits?
~
If you decide on seperate spaces then some decisions will have to be made as to location of any shared equipment or resources. Don't give up too much in an effort to "be nice". Negotiate as you would with a new partner, not a spouse. The resentment from playing nicey has shot more than one partner appriaser relationship, let alone a married one!
~

Finally: dare to dream big and then look at realism. What can you conceive? (and I wasn't alking offspring <_< )

~

My dream office has space for kids and even kids friends, under Mom's watchful eye :angel: ... AND a visual dividing wall that obscures most of 'his' debris :ph34r: , but lets me see my guy when we want eye contact.
:wub:


Happy hunting: May you join the ranks of the folks who stay married long enough to really enjoy working together! B)
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
:rofl: :rofl:
Jim, that is the greatest story. I bet no one will ever try to cross the appraiser or Chief in that town. :ph34r:
 

Tater Salad

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Missouri
My husband and I work out of the home. We are in the process of finishing our basement (the contractor started yesterday--yeehaaaw) and have temporarily moved to the bedroom. Yuck. That fax machine can go off at any given time.

Anyway, our rules:

1. Don't talk work unless you are at work, or it's an emergency.

2. Don't talk to clients about a report written by the other. Never give anybody the idea that they can play one against the other.

3. Take good phone messages, or don't erase them off the machine unless you're willing to handle it yourself.

4. Don't talk work unless you are at work.

And it's never good business to blast clients, but never blast your spouse's best client. If it's necessary, let the spouse do it him/her self.

I love working with my husband (most of the time). The best thing about what we do is that we can help each other with the tough ones, enjoy each other's company in the office, and still be apart for inspections. Sometimes, we plan our day so that we can do inspections together. It's kinda fun having someone to hold the dumb-end of the tape and to eat lunch with.
 

Blue1

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Well, Mrs. Blue does all my scheduling and keeps an even keel in the office. She is the "lion at the gate' when it comes to incoming calls. I have a detached building that is my office. It is heated and cooled and costs an 'arm and a leg' to run but, it's still cheaper than office rent.

When we are in the office we allow ourselves to be business-like. We have devloped a bussiness-like repoire....BUT.....as soon as we leave the office.......I am no longer the boss!!! :(

Jeykl and Hyde? Maybe....but it works for us..... :beer: Moral: Business is one thing, your personal life is another.......Keep it that way...
 
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